What Now?
Posted: March 12, 2019, 6:58 AM

Posts: 4
Joined: March 12, 2019

I'm new here and at talking at all about this. Phew, I'm struggling with what to say or ask.
I'm a mom of a meth/heroin addict for 10 yrs now, He's 28. My son walked away again tonight but it felt different, more hopeless than ever before. He's with his sister who blames me as all my children do, all 5. None speak to me staying I'm the reason he's addicted and stays that way. I've lost my family, its nearly dead except its alive and I feels dead. I feel worse than alone, I don't know what I am or if I can ever be ok. I thought I couldn't cry any more but just typing this my tears are hot and my hearts pounding. I know he feels like he's never going to be ok and now I feel the same minus the heroin. This weekend he told me I was a horrible person screaming actually and this is an understatement, he's never done that. I've been the person he trusted and loved and never his enemy and that changed. I can't give up on him or trying or being here but for the first time it feels as if being here for him is hurting him. I don't want to hurt him. I don't know what to do anymore, I never did. The look in his eyes tonight...will I ever feel safe again? His eyes, they beg for safety, something I don't know how to give him or help him find. and so do mine. Am I even ok writing here? Will he live? Will I get to see it? Will I survive? And will it really truly be ok? Why does it feel so desperate and so my fault? Will talking to somebody actually help me? Even the tiniest shrewd of relief...I don't have the energy to do more than this and this feels terrible and yet here I am...I want help. Help out of this hole that has swallowed me and my family. I wish it would spit us out...but I've been in here so long I wouldn't know what to do if it did. What and who have I become?
I wrote in a strange place and put myself out here and I'm pushing the post button so that its real. Holy crap, how will I sleep after this!
What now?
Posted: March 12, 2019, 9:26 AM

Posts: 323
Joined: November 9, 2018

Welcome myheartbeats and it's good you are reaching out for support. Its unfair for all your children to be blaming you for your son's addiction. Unless you bought him the heroin and shot it in his arm which I know isn't the case. So even though they want to blame you don't let them affect how you feel about yourself. You did not cause his addiction. He is 100% responsible for his own addiction and he's 100% responsible for either continuing to use or to get help to stop and recover. Its easy to lose ourselves in their addiction but dont. Don't let his addiction take over your life.
Posted: March 12, 2019, 12:02 PM

Posts: 1443
Joined: June 27, 2016

myheartbeats - my son is 29. about 6 yrs of addiction - that we have been part of trying to 'fix'. over and over we thought we could 'pick him up, dust him off, give him tools to be successful' . he has been to rehab a few times. last summer he made more progress than usual. he followed thru w out patient care, meetitngs, for 3 months. he was living at home for the past year. A year ago I reached the point where I knew we could not support him emotionally, mentally, as professionals can. how we kid ourselves that we can do that. we are not medical doctors, pyscologists, councelors. (excuse spelling) I sought out counceling for myself at a local recovery center. it was what I needed to find out more information to the community resources available for addiction.

My manta to my son became "go to the hospital, go to detox" tell him many people can recover. he needs the support of the experts. tell him you have tried with everything you know, but you are not the expert he needs.

my son relapsed after 3 months. we thought with all of the good care around him, he would get back on track. he has not. over the past 6 months we have talked nicely, begged, screamed. I'm sure our messages get across, but nothing permanent changes.

I believe it is very difficult for a person to stop on their own. some do but we don't always hear those stories. I firmly know that we have given our son everything he needs to recover. He had recovery support resources in the community. I am sure he can tap into that again.

like we have said to ourselves... if money, food, shelter would help it would have helped by now. unfortunately we do have to cut all 'help'.

It is extremely hard. I have left my home bc I know I can not face my son and not give in to something. I am not at home and my phone rang 30 minutes ago. I did not answer it and I am afraid to look at it. (family member's form of PTSD)

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 12, 2019, 12:03 PM
Posted: March 12, 2019, 12:03 PM

Posts: 31
Joined: January 9, 2017

Welcome, I recommend you focus on the other kids. Build that relationship back up, so much focus goes toward our addicts.In my family, sibling have grown tired of the enablers,so much so that its has effected their relationship with grandparents and parents and such. The siblings refuse to even be around the addict. Let the addict know that not everything will be about them. In the end...You will become the enemy to the addiction.But your son will see it as him. You must convey its the addiction not you.
I hope this helps, we all are making this up as we try to fly a kite while a tornado of addictions flies around our loved one.

Posted: March 12, 2019, 12:27 PM

Posts: 1443
Joined: June 27, 2016

some bits of this message is helpful. it is from a counselor perspective



start watching youtube videos - type in addiction stories, enabling, denial, co-dependant

you have to change as much as your son has to change. my daughters kept telling me 'just stop helping him, say NO' . I totally know that is the right thing to do but I could not do it while living in the same house. easy for others to say when they live in other parts of the country. I got to the point where I had to 'save myself'. not just think about it, but do it. I few things fell into place and I left our home.

I could not physically and mentally run thru my days of work, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, fixing. I was anxious all of the time, overthinking everything small detail. turning myself into a person I did not want to be. I was not true to myself. I was dancing for everyone else. everything was run by the addiction living in our home. At my age I feel that I gave to the household for 30 years. Now it is time for me to be me. If I have to be alone to do that, then I will have to figure that out.

idk how this will turn out. out of the loop, and can not allow myself to be part of it again.

I do feel those pangs of heartbreak when I think of my son suffering. like knowing he is out of gas how will he get to work. knowing that he is feeling that pain. but it is his pain. I hope he can make the right choices for himself.

my husband is still home. no hard feelings. he knows that I needed to do this. my son does not ask his dad for 'help' bc his dad screams at him, and makes it difficult. I finally saw that I was in the way of my son's recovery.

Posted: March 13, 2019, 8:53 AM

Posts: 4
Joined: March 12, 2019

Thank you all so much for writing me back. I didn't know what to expect. I'm so used to either pat answers or tough love or nobody knows what to say. Some of the things you said like having a manta that you can say to them all the time is really helpful. The utube videos were really helpful. I am unable to walk away or leave home (though I wish I could). I don't give him money or pills or anything like that. I feed him, cloth him when necessary and so forth. He has a room here at home. Though he is a hoarder and my house has been utterly over ran by his stuff everywhere. I've began throwing this stuff away, not just needles or foils but so much stuff! ...he gets absolutely furious with me when I do. Our home has become nothing but trauma to him like one big trigger that never ends but there is nobody else who will take him not even a friend. Never been to rehab due to financial lack but now court will be forcing the issue and a goid public defender is helping fund a dual diagnosis place...we don't have much here in Alaska in that way. The biggest state with the biggest problem and we don't have hardly any long term facilities or dual diagnosis places. Uhg!!! Heroin and meth eventually took all that to. He has a severe tbi from being shot at close range last summer...I haven't talked about it to anyone for fear of judgement...seriously. This has made it MUCH worse. His skull is cracked in three places, not healing and a piece of the gun is inside still and moving. A thing that has kept me closer to him and more fearful for his life.
I began in the last two weeks using the word addiction like that's the addiction talking and so forth. He doesn't like much at all but it feels go if to me like relief. Its utterly taken over every inch of my life.
It was helpful to hear that I should focus on repairing my relationships w my other kids. I don't know where to start...any ideas? They don't speak to me. I don't allow others here with him but they end up here anyways and it always ends badly. Idk. It gets overwhelming when I start to think of it all. Like now. Please forgive my spelling errors...I have severe tremors that make typing difficult.

How do I reply to a particular response?
A mantra....suggestions, maybe several of them?
Relationship repair...suggestions how to start??

Thank you all so very much.

Posted: March 13, 2019, 11:01 AM

Posts: 171
Joined: July 6, 2018

Sorry to say welcome. I know how all consuming our child's addiction can be to us.
Keep posting here,keep reading .You will find your story o over and over.You might find some strength.
You didn't say why your other children aren't speaking to you. Are they blaming you for enabling your son?
I know my younger daughter would ask me,why don't you just stop Mom?
As for throwing his stuff away.I did that too. I had a beautiful fire. Felt great.
Posted: March 13, 2019, 6:03 PM

Posts: 1443
Joined: June 27, 2016

heartbeats - You definitely have a lot to be overwhelmed about. Where to start! I can see how it is like chasing the tail, round and round.
The points I would start with are:
A. getting help for yourself so you are not alone and can vent and be accountable for yourself. start googling recovery coach for family members - something like that. google recovery for families in your area. also try - smartrecovery.org and tam.org to find resources. call organizations and ask for resources. you will be happy about the people you talk to - even if they can not help directly. You need to get out of the sand box to feel what is normal.

B. keep the boundaries you have in place - like giving no money. put another boundary in place as needed. such as he can only keep stuff in his room. the rest of the house has to be cleaned out. either he does it or you do it. you can start with the junk or garbage. something you think he will want, put in his room. he can rent a storage shed if he has too much stuff. (just throwing an idea out there). If he does find a facility to go to ask him to box up the stuff he wants to keep and ask him to move it to storage or a relatives house. you need to cut any strings attached to you that you can be blamed for.

Example - I used to let my son borrow my car. not a lot, but if his car was in the shop. then he was out of gas, wanted to use my car, I let him for two nights- kind of caught me off guard. then the 3rd night I said No Way. then a few weeks later he got dropped off at my work place and asked to borrow my car - the caught by surprise, cant say no, tactic. I let him but was very angry about the manipulation. and when he brought it back, he was under the influence of something. I told him he can never borrow my car again. That was a boundary I had not verbally set before.

C. do not worry about the other family members. you don't have to explain yourself. you have gotten to the point where you can not keep this up, and only you can change you. the rest will fall into place. as with your addict, actions speak louder than words.

D. tell your son "I am an idiot, an a'hole. I don't know how to help you. I thought I was helping you. I am not. My help is making this situation worse. I am not an expert. Please see the experts that can help. self medicating is not helping. you need long term help to learn to live with the disability or limitations you have to deal with"

If he is at his sister's place and you are so terrible to live with. why cant he stay there?

I left my home 3 weeks ago. I determined that my help is keeping my son in addiction. always the blame was circling back to me. I removed myself. I had to break the cycle. idk how long I will be able to stay away. I am staying at a few different relatives homes. not a problem yet. my husband is home. this is giving him a break too. and also making him deal with the problems at home instead of me. my son is in the middle of moving out but still stopping by the house.

The 3 points are A. Find help for yourself. B. Keep the boundaries C. Continue to find a good place for your son to go - and determine that it has to be long term - he can not come back home. we made that mistake. let a social worker place him into housing or facility that matches what he needs.

PS - I am not an expert. I read a lot. LOL... sharing ideas helps! and I think the experts have even better ideas!

Posted: March 13, 2019, 6:05 PM

Posts: 1443
Joined: June 27, 2016

your son should be eligible for Medicaid and disability ?? a social worker should help him with this stuff.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 13, 2019, 6:05 PM
Posted: March 13, 2019, 10:11 PM

Posts: 256
Joined: November 16, 2017

Great advice from all. I just wanted to offer encouragement that there is a way out of the black hole of addiction. It is full of light and fresh air. I tried for a long time to pull my son along, but he wouldn't come.

The hardest part is that we have only two choices. To stay in the insanity with them or move towards health and freedom without them. And, hope they come around.

I finally did let go. It was tough.

I don't really know all the specifics of your children dynamic. I would just start slow and be easy on yourself. Don't set your expectations too high.

Keep sharing.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 12:05 PM

Posts: 4
Joined: March 12, 2019

Thank goodness I did this! I was terrified truly. I'm feeling more relief as the days goes by about talking here. Here's some answers to questions.
Yes he's on Medicaid.
My other children cut him out of their lives as did his father years ago and feel I should do the same. They feel if he was alone he would get better and I'm holding him back. They resent me terribly.
We just had our first meeting with a mental health worker where he will be seeing a psychiatrist for the brain injury and drug abuse induced mental problems (don't have a diagnosis yet), a therapist and a case worker who will help with disability and all sorts of things.
He has a scheduled appt w the brain surgeon to see about the cracked skull and the foreign object inside his skull still. That's this week.
I've watched a few videos on Utube, thx!!! I will watch whatever is helpful.
Two sisters talk to us both, one he despises and the other....stays involved enough to be here for him but she can't handle all if it. Truth is the reason for the tbi is a flare gun shot to the head at close range. It was a terrible accident that was after hiking and it was her, the baby sister playing around and thinking he unloaded the flare and he hadn't. So when she jumped around the corner and yelled ha flare gun to the head...it really happened. It is tragic and an accident. No charges or anything like that. She just simply can't let go of him at all but can't be to close either due to her own trauma over all of it. Sometimes I wonder if she's worse off than him cause she refuses to go to therapy. Uhg!
Its a horrible situation my families in.
I'm moving forward the best I can but most days it feels like I'm drowning. I would have stayed married but my husband after 14 years of not being involved at all anyways decided to say it out loud, I don't want to take care of you or him or anyone but me. And so we dissolved the marriage. Was sad but relief as well.
I'm trying to learn how to be nice to myself, a skill I once had, before heroin and meth hit my family.
Yes I'm in therapy twice a week just to help stay afloat and am learning how to care for me first again. I actually had made so much progress until the tbi came several months ago, then 2 months ago it got much worse and now worse by the day. Idk where I'm headed or him but I'm glad I decided to come in here and actually say something. I hope this answered some of your questions and gives room for better more targeted advice.
Thank you all very much! Your very kind and caring. I'm so grateful this is here.
Oh ya, we don't have long term facilities as in not more than 6 months here in Alaska. And a dual diagnosis facility isn't up and running yet. The few facilities we have are doing their best with limited resources.
Its a horrible heroin and meth storm in all of Alaska and we just don't have much help wise. Its very sad.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 1:59 PM

Posts: 31
Joined: January 9, 2017


You are doing a great job.

Posted: March 14, 2019, 8:56 PM

Posts: 171
Joined: July 6, 2018

Meth is such a horrible horrible drug. The mental health symptoms that last so long after it's stopped.
You sound like you're doing what you need to do. I hope you can learn to not enable your son.Something that feels right to you. When I started I actually made a mark on a calender for everyday that I didn't give money to my addicted child. It was a visual reminder that I didn't give in ,at least for one day.
I am helping her with the mental health aspect at this time.Making sure she gets meds and appts. But I have learned to say no more often.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 10:50 PM

Posts: 1443
Joined: June 27, 2016

heartbeats - ty for sharing your story. truly tragic. one's heart breaks for both of them. and then in the next breath just want to be away from it. wish life was normal. unfortunately, this is how it goes. everyone so entrenched in the addiction crap and then something terrible happens. sometimes the accident is a wake up call. I can see you have a lot on your shoulders. very emotional and complicated, in so many ways. perhaps once your son begins seeing a therapist his sister could join a few sessions. It sounds like there is a lot in the works. maybe your son can stay with his sister for a while to give you a needed break.

story: my daughter was addicted for a few years in her teens. (she is 6 yrs clean now) at the time she begged for a dog. we gave in. she ran over the dog in the driveway when it was about a year old. We all knew the dog ran around the cars in the driveway. we should have instructed her to park at the end away from the house. I blame her bc he was in a hurry to get to school. and because of the addiction, she was not thinking well enough to be sure the dog was out of the way or put her inside. I blame my husband who insisted the dog should be out side. I blame my self for not listening to my intuition to bring the dog back in before she went to school.or to talk to her about what to do if the dog was in the way. I did tell husband my fears that she would run over the dog or someone would. we should have changed the dog wire fence so it is not go across drive way. she had been living near community college but had a 'falling out' with her room mates and was home for a few days. she was not used to the dog being around. on the other hand. it was an accident. when it happened I learned that many people had an experience of themselves or someone running over their dog in the driveway. It was our first dog. and an awful thing for my daughter to have to live with.

a dog is not a person, glad she did not run over a person. but it hurt for a long time.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 14, 2019, 11:03 PM
Posted: March 21, 2019, 1:20 AM

Posts: 4
Joined: March 12, 2019

You all have been VERY helpful.

I am standing my ground more and more and more. All of which I am giving myself the much needed credit and reminders I need to stay strong. He is difficult and this last 3 weeks have been the worst by a long shot. Its as if my sweet son isn't atiybd any more, swallowed up by a monster.

My use if the word addict, using phrases like: that's the addiction talking, its screaming at me to be fed. I know its hungry for heroin or meth. I won't feed it. I will take you and your addiction to a meeting, or call a doctor and take you. I keep offering to go on bike rides, reminding him that panic and anxiety can be calmed some and the addiction may be quieter. He is getting more and more irritated with me for using the word addict or addiction and now the use of anxiety producing the craving. Though as if tiday he addmitts I am right which I think is a beautiful step for him to be taking in the right direction.

I do have so much all at one time and some hours are unbearable. I'm finding myself locking my bedroom door and myself inside it everyday at so e point. I'm leaving the house without him knowing I'm leaving just to avoid the onslaught of questions about where I'm going, why, how long, etc. With me he says he feels like he's in jail but without me he feels panicked and alone. Im also making statements like I need 5 minutes...at such and such time you can come talk to me or whatever but not until. I'm also taking showers much more than usual just to have quiet, alone time. All these things seem extreme for me but they are actually helping me keep my head clear as possible.

Besides the new verbage I'm using are there other things or words I could start to incorporate? Or learn at least. Other things that might have worked for some of you concerning self care???

I'm also wondering if any if you may have any ideas for helping him lower his anxiety when he is open to hearing ideas?

Thanks for everything!

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